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Full text of "Lyndon"

A. D. BURKETT 





Lyndon 




By 
A. D. Burkett 

Press of 

Jennings & Graham 

Cincinnati 





Copyright, 1908, 

by 
-A. D. BuKKETT 



To those ivlio may care to read sloiuly, 
Or sit by a river and dream, 

Or listen to stars and to sunlight, 
And interpret the seen by the unsee?!. 




As the Memory of Those that We Love 



Contents 

Exordium, ------ 15 

Sunrise, ------ 19 

The River, ------ 29 

Mill Ruins, - , _ - 47 

The Bells, ----- 55 

The Clouds, ----- 65 

Late in the Afternoon, - - 69 

Sunset, - . - - - 73 



List of Illustrations 

TITLE ARTIST PAGE 

1. A. D. BURKETT, - - - Fro7itispiece 



2. As THE Memory of Those that 

We Love, - - F. C. Bamum 7 

3. And the Olives— Silent 

Watchers, - - F. C. Bamum 13 

4. Sunrise, - - - - F. A. Bell 17 



5. The Bridge that Spans to Either 

Side, - - - F. C. Bamum 23 

6. The River, - - F. C Bamum 27 



7. As the Lives of Men and of 

Women, - - - F. C. Bamum 33 

8. These Have Stood Upright, 

F. C. Bamum 35 

9. Floating Like Rafts in the 

River, - - - Sophie Pamienter 39 

11 



TITLE ARTIST PAGE 

10. Midsummer Music, F. C. Bamum 41 



11. Hidden by Undergrowths, 

F. C. Bamum 45 

12. Where Once was the Roar of 

Industry - - F. C Bamum 49 

13. In Childhood's Early Morn We 

Heard Them Call, F. C. Bamum 53 

14. How Sweet Their Tones, 

F. C. Barnum 57 

15. That Spirit Voice— The Bells, 

F. C. Bamum 59 

16. They are Our Friends, - - - 63 



17. Late in the Afternoon, 

Mattie Pai'menter 67 

18. A Place of Peace, - F. C. Bamum 71 



19. Flowers on the Indian's Grave 

F. C. Bamum 75 

20. Asleep Till the Dawn of the 

Day, - - - F. C. Bamum 77 



12 




A?td the Olives — Silent Watchers 



Exordium 

Listen, heart, while old Rock River, 

As it murmurs on its way, 
Lit by sunbeams rich and golden — 

Morning's Hush and closing day — • 
Tells a story of the ruins, 

Both of castles and of walls: 
Walls that stand in lonely silence, 

Minding us of funeral palls; 
Castles only minds have builded 

And that eyes have never seen : 
Vanished hopes and expectations 

Floated out upon the stream, 
Drifted down and gone forever; 

Tossed upon some far-off sea, 
Wrecks they are upon the ocean — 

Ocean of Eternity. 

And if you will listen calmly, 

You can hear the bells at morn 
Ringing out across the prairie, 

Ringing clearly through the storm; 
Through the sunshine and the shadows, 

Calling souls to yonder bourn 
Where the daylight lengthens ever 

And the heart is ne'er forlorn. 

15 



In old Lyndon you may wander 

Where the pansy borders bloom, 
Where the mignonette and roses 

Give the zephyrs sweet perfume ; 
See the stately purple palace 

Where the queen of springtime reigns, 
And the olives — silent watchers — 

And the quiet lover-lanes. 

You may stand where morning-glories 

Trail the lattice and the dome 
Of the children's play-cathedral 

On the diamond-covered lawn. 
Note the sun-kissed cheek of childhood 

Framed within the open door; 
Plomes of many very lowly, 

Blest of God, in that they 're poor. 
You may watch the struggle upward 

Of the men who seek to climb 
On the road which leads to heaven 

And its purple peaks sublime. 
You may hear the broken whispers 

Of the aged ; see their tears, 
As they tell of golden day-dreams 

That have vanished with the years; 
Place your hand upon the gray head, 
Breathe a praj'er, — their blessing said, 
May go forth to battle bravely 
Till life's golden sun is set. 



16 



Sunrise 

golden dawn, that scatters gloom 
And brings from heaven's love-lit shore 
The promise of eternal day, 

1 love thee well. Thy message sweet, 
Which comes in tones the heart can hear. 
Is grander, more sublime, methinks, 
Than if the skies were rift in twain 
And some great voice should startle men. 
So like thou art to all the rest 

Of heaven's blessings earth receives, 

So manifold thy changing sights: 

No sky has plagiarized, and yet 

Each day begins with dawn. 

And since the voice, "Let there be light," 

How many million morns have lit 

The darksome world, and beckoned men 

From sleep of death to light of life. 

And he who will can drink that flood 

Of heaven's glory in his soul. 

And rob no man. Can hide each ray 

Within his hungry heart, 

Nor heaven nor earth shall poorer be. 

So do the forests yonder, fields. 

And flowers, and prairie hills all catch 

The beauteous beams and burst them wide, 

19 



Then, gathering up the scattered tints, 
Adorn themselves in gorgeous dress; 
But dawn is not one ray less bright. 

And thou art equal to the task 
Of lighting up the darkest world 
With ease, as tho' 't were only play. 
We little tho't how great thy power 
Until we tried to lift thv load. 



The darkness fell. Thick darkness crept 

Across the face of land and lake; 

The valleys first, then far-stretched plains 

Were caught away, as by that power 

Unseen — yet felt — which casts the pall. 

We tho't the mountains and their peaks 

So mighty in their majesty, 

Would stay the monster by their strength 

Or cause it cower in vales below. 

From very fear. Not so. It stretched 

Its mighty folds about their base; 

Then, reaching upward, threw a veil 

Upon their heads ; then suddenly 

A shroud, and shut them from our sight 

As tho' forever more. 

"But sure," we tho't, "the clouds above 

Are far beyond its reach." 

Yet while the words were on our lips 

Their glory fled, their light was gone. 

A fear we noted on their face 

20 



As when a hand, unseen, from out 

The gloom around hath seized the throat. 

We closed our eyes a moment from 

The sight, and when we looked again 

The world was dark; the day was dead; 

And night was everywhere. 

The accents sweet that loving lips 

Had caused to fall upon our hearts, 

We heard and felt as in the day, — 

The look of love was gone, — the night, 

Like jealousy, had come between. 

A gentle hand was pressed in ours, 

Companions dear were by our side — 

For grewsome night we saw them not. 

We tho't to go along our way, 

But, seeing nothing, fell into 

A deep and horrid, slimy pit. 

From thence we issued only when 

Our strength and hope were well-nigh spent. 

Then, when we stood, much worn and weak 

With fruitless toil, to find a path, 

A gleam was seen a little way 

Across a darksome space. 

With gropings slow we reached the place, 

The substance seized and made a light, 

A torch, and lifting it on high, 

We tho't to drive the gloom away. 

But, O! How feeble was the flame, 

How ill revealed what we would see ! 

A few square rods were dimly lit, — 

21 



Beyond were shadows, — shapeless things, 
That moved and breathed and rose and fell. 
We tho't, '"The gods are haunting men; 
And hideous things are lurking near. 
O, what a fearful world is this!" 
The faces by our side each wore 
A ghastly look — seen in the glare, 
We feared them each ; we questioned all, 
As in the days when Herod's kin 
. Or Nero's dwelt uncertain by, 
Or tribes and nations slept in peace ; 
And woke to find the torch applied. 
Their families driven forth, themselves 
Without a home or friend. 
Yet hope abode : a truer light 
Would make the world a truer world. 

We saw afar, against the clouds. 
The lights that other men had lit ; 
A yellow glow, a feeble flame, 
That made the darkness deeper seem. 
And hope sank low, for men had spent 
Their utmost strength to bring the day; 
And night and dread uncertainty 
In fear still wrapt the world. 
Thro' all the lonely hours of night 
The moon and stars did vainly strive 
To scatter gloom and give us day. 
Their light was dim at very best. 
And when the clouds swept o'er their face, 
The earth was wrapt in darkest night. 

22 



At last, when many hours had passed, 

We felt a somewhat in our souls 

We scarce could understand : as tho' 

Some higher power would give us aid. 

We stood with hand upon our lips, 

To wait some strange, mysterious change. 

The cold, dark disk of far-off blue 

Grew darker still, for heaven's lights, 

That watched the sleeping world, grew dim. 

Then, lo! the Eastern sky began 

To wear a faltering tint of light: 

So faint, so far, it seemed as if 

The soul's deep ear, which catches here 

The voices of the sky that speak 

In thousand times ten thousand tongues, 

Had scarcely heard from ether plains 

The golden bugle of the morn 

Play taps for stars, and wind the blast 

That wakes the artists of the day. 

And then a glow along the low 

Horizon line. A beam shot up! 

A ray of light not man had made! 

Another! Yet another! O, a host! 

What is it, then? Bright rays which tell 

The coming of some greater light. 

And while we watched, and while we tho't, 

A flood, — so rich ! so wondrous bright ! 

O'erswept the sky. The gloom was gone. 

Up leaped the sun in majesty; 

In mighty strength : as born of God. 

25 



No hand but hand omnipotent 
Could wave a torch so vast as that! 
Its light was true. The forms about 
Each took the shape we earlier knew. 
The phantoms fled and vanished quite, 
As vapors do before the dawn. 

We looked on meadowland and field ; 
On forests green, where wild flowers grew; 
On hills whence came the cattle's low; 
We saw the river flowing far ; 
The bridge that spanned to either side ; 
The roadways, o'er which men go 
At morning time to labors, — sweet 
For this: love is their greater hire. 
About, the wild birds sang the notes 
That shepherds heard from angel lips, 
What time the moral hills of earth 
Were flooded with that Wondrous Light. 
We saw all beauteous things of earth, 
That hands of God and man hath made, 
And all was love ; there was no night ; 
We cried," Hath come, the Perfect Light!" 

O Christ, we only make one prayer: 

"May this day never die. 
Let moral darkness come no more. 

Shine, Thou, fore'er on high." 



26 



The River 

Far-flow iiiii and ancient river, by whose meadowed 

banks and whose margins 
Live and die thro" the ages the members of many races, 
Ceaseless thou art in thy roaming from the sparkling 

fount to the ocean. 
Little heeding the changes that men may work about 

thee, 
Ever and ever onward, afar thou art flowing, O river. 
Cities and towns are growing in numbers unnoted 

beside thee. 
Expecting to use thy tides and ebbs for the profit of 

commerce. 
So they may, but thy waters, will tarry only a moment, 
Then flow onward again, forgetting the service they 

rendered. 
Free are thy gifts to the world ; uncounted, unledgered 

thy blessings. 
Ne'er hast thou sought again what men, unthankful, 

have borrowed. 
Like the rain which falls from the skies when the mists 

are rolling above us 
Over the thirsty land, that pleads with uplifted ver- 
dure ; 
Like the sunbeams warm and full that float thro" 

ethereal spaces, 

29 



Seeking the distant clod (which, wandering ever on- 
ward, 

Ever is guided in going by the strength of its father's 
yearnings). 

As sings the bird in the tree or the orchard, or, flitting 

upward, 
Flings to the clouds its song of ineffable music, and 

asks not 
A penny's pay in return for its service daily rendered. 
Like dewdrops and sunbeams and bird song, so does 

the wonderful river 
Bless the world with its gifts and find its reward in 

the blessing. 
''Freely thou shalt receive and freely shall give again," 
Didst thou hear the ^Master say, when He bade thee 

leap from thy fountains. 
And hast thou learned so well the lesson by men 

forgotten ? 

Whence are thy many waters, tell me, O giver of 

blessings? 
And a voice, I hear, that is sweet and musical past 

description : 
Others may call it, "The splash of the waters that 

fall at the mill dam," 
But it tells its tale, and to me 't is the answering 

voice of the blesser. 
Out of the forest's shade and out of the sunlit prairies. 
Where, like silvery threads, thro' grasses green are 

running 

30 



Brooklets and creeks that sinp; niijht and day of the 
fountains. 

Thousand there arc that izlean in the fields, where the 
sunbeams ;j;ather 

Rack the dews and the rain when the clouds have 
o'er-blessed the prairies; 

Hither they come in a crowd, and pour these count- 
less waters. 

Whence is thy light, O stream? and the iilinting waves 

make answer, 
Out of the skies above, where the fires are burning 

eternal. 
And the pathway of gold or of silver that stretches 

across the river 
If so be, the skies are a-hazed or like amethyst pure 

and unsvdlied. 
Points to the orb of day, that burns on the shield of 

the morning. 

Whence are the waves, O stream, that lap thy shores 

forever? 
Answer: "The winds have blown sometimes and have 

breathed some other." 
And the little fountains and springs that come from 

thy depths unseen ; 
Boiling, now here, now there, and dying away in a 

wavelet ; 
Whence are they? Hast thou somewhat dow^n in thy 

bosom hid 

31 



Of sorrow or pain that makes heartache and brings 

to thy features so fair 
The lines which the world hath seen on the faces of 

mothers and sweethearts 
AVhen the stream of their life, flowing onward, has 

passed o'er the rough, stony places 
Left by the tide of the years and the struggle of men 

for possessions? 

And the voice of the purling stream, which makes its 

music forever, 
Tells me all that it has by some other hand hath been 

given ; 
And why should it hold for pay the blessings of earth 

and heaven ? 

Near to the bank of the stream, by the side of its 

whispering water, 
Grow the wild willow twigs, and the swamp-brush 

sprouts in the summer, 
Shaggy and thick and unkept and tangled and twisted 

together, — 
Only the hare or the mink could find a pathway among 

them. 
Oft have I sat by the bank and looked on the wild. 

woolly brushwood, 
Useless to man and to stream; unsightly and gross and 

forbidding; 
Choking the water's way and hindering its onward 

going, 

32 




These have stood upright 

When the floods were siueeping a bout them 



Turnino; [n sprinti; to a curse and a scourge the tur- 
bulent waters, 

Flooding the lowland farms and drowning the helpless 
cattle. 

(3ft have I marked how the bushes and brush on the 

bank of the river 
Are bent down the way of the stream, as the lives of 

men and of women 
Are shaped by the current of years and the tide of the 

world's opinions; 
But back in the forest beyond, where the oak and the 

maple and walnut 
Lift their trunks to the sky and, stretching their 

branches upward, 
Bid the winds to blow on i^olian harps, — in winter, 
IMaking the silvan song that lulled to sleep the savage, 
In summer the murmurs of love that inspire the hearts 

of lovers ; 
These have stood upright when the floods w^ere sweep- 
ing about them. 
Laughed at their foam and fret and caring not for 

their rushings. 
Oft have I wondered, then, when I sat on the bank 

of the river, 
Whether my heart and life will be molded only by 

others. 
Or if they may grow toward the sky, like the kings 

of the forest vonder. 



37 



Few are the sons of men who have seen this wonderful 

river ; 
Only here and there have they watched its flowing 

water ; 
But to know the stream you must journey from its 

sea to its fountain, 
Under the summer skies and under the clouds of 

winter ; 
Mark when the waters are warm and a bathing place 

for the schoolboy ; 
And when the cakes of ice are floating like rafts in 

the river, 
Or when on the frozen flood rings the steel of the 

skaters. 

Note when the water shoals and the pebbles make 

mid-summer music; 
And when with the springtime flood it is swollen and 

rushing onward 
Over the lowland fields and drowning the helpless 

cattle. 
Mark when its mirror reflects the amethyst dome of 

the heavens. 
And when its surface is splashed with tears the clouds 

are weeping 
In autumn time for the flowers, which are faded and 

gone forever. 
Note when the lips of Aurora are kissing its wavelet 

brow; 
And when the moon and the stars are slumbering calm 

on its bosom. 

38 



Journey from where the sprinti; creeps out of the bank 

of mosses 
And, tricklino; down the rocks, glides along thro' the 

meadows. 

Follow it all the way in its manifold windings and 

turnings 
Past the lovers' bank and the dark and unsightly places ; 
List to its gentle voice purling softly in whispers; 
Hear the thunderous tones at the place of its falling 

waters ; 
Note how the shingle-ship of the little child in the 

brooklet 
Grows to a two-oared skiff for rowing out in the river ; 
Then to the launch that churns its way along thro' 

the water; 
And then at last is a vessel whose strength was built 

for the ocean. 
See all its sights; hear its sounds, from the splashing, 

sparkling spring 
Out to the windswept sea where the waves are boom- 
ing forever. 

So with the lives of men who are living and tolling 

around us. 
Oft times we think that we know their hearts and 

pass judgment upon them, 
Saying that this one is good and condemning the other 

as evil ; 
Dreaming that this one brings joy and peace to the 

heart of the Maker, 

43 



Supposing the other, as ill, will receive the reward of 

damnation. 
l?ut have we seen their life, or only a fragment of 

living? 
Seen the one when the breath of loving hearts was 

upon it ; 
Seen it when all was calm, and in peace it flowed — 

like a river. 
Thro' prosperous fields of grain and meadows and 

quiet places. 
Marked the time in the life when joy and love 

abounded. 

The other heart we saw when the strivings of life 

were upon it. 
When sorrow had crushed the soul, or when chill 

competition froze it. 
Saw it when tempests of sin were sweeping in gusts 

around ; 
And marked the time in that life when grief or hate 

were predominant. 
So we have judged other lives by only a fragment of 

living. 
Hap'ly, the One who at last will give the names to 

the rivers. 
Calling them good or ill, hath been from the sea to 

the fountain. 



44 



I: 






5^ 
O 




Mill Ruins 

On the banks of the flowing river, within sound of its 

murmuring waters, 
Hidden by undergrowth, and covered over with lichens. 
Some of them fallen now and in heaps confusedly lying ; 
Others standing yet and braving the winds of winter, 
Giving a home for birds in the mating days of summer; 
Still may be seen the remains of a one time promising 

industry. 
Fled are the years when it flourished, and gone like a 

vision of midnight. 
Only in dreams may be heard the thud and roar of 

machinery ; 
Only in dreams may be seen the coming and going of 

workmen. 

Once 't was a busy place ; in the memory of those who 

are grayest. 
Still of a summer's day is seen the team of the farmer 
Coming a-down the lane that was cut thro' the hill 

for an entrance ; 
Still he ties his horse to the iron ring of the door-sill, 
What time he waits for the flour, — when the power is 

slack for water, — 
Chatting with neighbor or friend who may chance to 

be there before him. 

47 



No more the laborer goes, in the gathering gloom of 

evening, 
Homeward along the bank of the whispering, slow- 
moving water, 
Swinging his dinner pail and jingling the coins in his 

pocket. 
Whistling a merry tune and keeping time with his 

footstep ; 
Seeing the lights that shine from the windows ot 

waiting people, 
Knowing a welcome is there and the kindly words of 

the housewife. 
Silence and loneliness now, where once was the roar 

of industry, 
Save for the cricket's song at eve in the grasses in 

summer. 
Or the chatter and bicker of birds when the sparrows 

have droved in the autumn. 

Silently wait the walls of some of the larger buildings; 

Sentinels they, who watch by the graves of those that 
are fallen. 

Dreamers they are, — of the days when along the bank 
of the river 

There shall come again a company of men with axes, 

With pick and shovel and team, — with implements 
made for working; 

Gather away the stones and the years' dilapidations, 

Open again the race, and build once more the mill- 
dam; 



48 



o 



>3 



Si, 




Call the mills from their sleep in their graves by the 

beautiful river, 
Biddino; them yield to the world the wealth that was 

buried with them. 

Oft have I wondered why, thro' the years that have 
speeded swiftly. 

This mine of wealth should lie in ruins o'ergrown and 
hidden. 

Why no man has come, with money and business am- 
bition ; 

Spoken the word of charm that will call this genie 
to living ; 

And received the fabulous wealth which into its power 
is given. 

Not for a hundred miles along this grand old river 

Is a more delightsome place for a city's site, or a 
mill-dam ; 

Nor is there anywhere that the latent power is greater. 

Yet the way of the world hath ever been thus thro' 

the ages. 
Read the story of Rome or of Carthage, or far-away 

India. 
AVhere are the hills that gave birth to the arts of the 

Greeks, the ancients, 
The flowers, the birds, and the bees, and the sea, and 

the sky, and the forest, 
The countless growing things that touched the hearts 

of the poets? 

51 



Or the dawnings of wonderful days that guided the 

brush of a Turner? 
Are the}' gone? Are they dead? Or forgotten? Or 

hidden behind a veil 
And waiting the coming of men with lofty and noble 

ambition ? 

Wait, ye weeping walls that stand by the graves of 

3'our fallen ; 
We, too, wait for the day that shall give us back our 

beloved. 
And the world that was wondrous fair and now hath 

been wintry for ages, 
Hopes for the dawn of the day when Eden shall bloom 

and be golden. 



52 




Holu Sweet Their Tones! No Human Ear e'er heard 
A Melody More Grand 



The Bells 

When first November gathers in her lap 
The ripened fruit of summer's dew and damp, 
When quails are piping in the fields and lanes, 
And swift the West wind whirls the weather-vane; 
\Vhen nights grow long and overlap the days, 
And Sol begins to slant his beauteous rays; 
AVhen flowers are gone and forests are a-bloom, 
And put to shame the horticulturist's groom ; 
When, manna-like, the frost is on the ground, 
And when you catch from far the softest sounds, 
Then, first you hear, — the bells. 

How sweet their tones! No human ear e'er heard 

A melody more grand. No note of bird 

Or strain of orchestra, or blare of band, 

Or call of bugle held in practiced hand ; 

No water's fall, no thunder's cannonade. 

Nor murmur of the winds in forest glade. 

Nor boom of waves on ocean's rock-bound coast, 

Or music of the seas, or all the host 

That fill the earth with sound to mankind dear, 

Which drive away the gloom and bring good cheer, 

Can equal this. — the bells. 

55 



Their notes are manifold and strangely roll 

Across the world, as tho' from ages old. 

In childhood's early morn we heard them call, 

And questioned, "Whence such wondrous voices fall?" 

It seemed a mystic sound we could not understand, 

It seemed that they were rung by many hands. 

Sometimes so faint, as tho' a feeble voice ; 

Sometimes so loud, as tho' a battle noise. 

We stood, with childish wondering eyes and heart, 

And tho't to see the swiftly speeding dart. 

That spirit voice, — the bells. 

One morn so late, it summer seemed. 

When earth was dry and warm, and grasses green, 

A laddie trudged the lazy way to school — 

And, longing much to break the master's rule. 

He came to where an east and southward fence 

Did intersect. He felt the blissful sense 

Of lazy warmth steal o'er his frame, and there 

Threw down his books and coat, all unaware. 

Like one of old, that God was in the place 

And he, that day, should start to run life's race. 

Inspired by — the bells. 

From distant pools he heard the froggies sing, 
In forest near the birds were on the wing, 
The lambs were racing o'er the meadows green ; 
O'er all the landscape fell a sky-blue sheen. 
The air was roft and still, and sounds of spring 
And odors sweet from every growing thing 
Beguiled his lazy sense and lulled to sleep. 
As wagging waves do sailors on the deep. 

56 



I: 



Si 



5^ 



c^ 

» 





We stood, with childish, wotiderifig eyes atid heart 
And tho't to see the swiftly speadiiig dart, 
That spirit voice, — the bells. 



A tjentle hand passed o'er his drooping eyes, 
Dulled every sense but one; that, left alive 
To hear a voice — the bells. 

They rang. But never as upon that morn. 

l>n thousand voices on their notes were borne. 

Time 's short, — the pen too quickly worn away 

To tell of all the message heard that day. 

Each hill and vale and crag and mountain peak. 

Ocean and coral reef, where divers seek 

For pearls; all lands, all lakes, and every glen. 

And every place where foot of man hath been, 

And what unseen, that future will reveal 

When men remember, "Seekers still must kneel," 

Was calling in — the bells. 

He heard the voices of the ancient seers ; 

The poet's song, the wisdom of the years. 

The Alexandrian hidden secrets called. 

And Pompeii and Herculaneum long impalled, 

And Rome and Greece and Nineveh and Ind', 

Science and arts that long forgot had been; 

And Solon spake, and Euclides again. 

And Croesus told the way to wealth, and Pan 

Piped all his secrets forth, and all the w^orld 

Of earth and sea and sky found voice and called 

"Rouse up and hear — the bells." 

He turned his head as if to heed the voice. 
Yet still slept on, as seamen 'mid the noise 
Of calling waves, which tell of mysteries. 
And as he slept, he dreamed a gentle breeze 

61 



Had blown away the morn, and bro't the day, 

Divinely set, for men to rest and pray. 

And sounds of other bells, — but grander still. 

As ocean's music 's grander than the rill's, — 

Were calling to his half-awakened heart: 

"Rouse up from sleep, and from this place depart 

And climb where call — the bells." 

He list the sound ; it came from far away 
Keyond the home of stars or night or day. 
The music of a countless heavenly throng, • 
Their songs, their symphonies, were borne along. 
He heard the Shepherd Boy on Juda's hill; 
The voice of God on Sinai echoed still ; 
And he who slept on pillow made of stone 
At midnight gave his vows before the throne. 
That voice which Saul heard on Damascus' road. 
And John, on Isle of Patmos, left alone. 
Were mingled in — the bells. 

All voices sweet that human ears have heard, 
Whose music bore the message of God's Word. 
The prayer of those who bade revenge be stilled 
When fagot blazed and wild beast crushed and killed, 
Their vows, who said to fatherland, "Farewell;" 
Braved wintry seas and fires fierce as hell. 
To worship God. And thousands now unknown, 
The good, the true — awoke with thunder tones 
The sleeping lad. He heard. And with one breath. 
He cried, "Let come what may — or life, or death, 
I '11 heed that voice — the bells!" 

62 




TJiey are Our Friends 



The Clouds 

They come, — from whence we scarce can tell; 

From West, or East, or North, or South 

They come, — companions of the winds, 

And winds are wanderers o'er all 

Tlie endless stretch of earth and sea. 

They come to-night from out the West, 

But if we hastened to the dim 

Horizon line, they still would come. 

They grow, — up yonder in the blue, 

From little balls of fleecy foam 

To mighty billows, blown by winds 

And dashed by lightnings into spray 

That splashes all the autumn earth. 

They are our friends. They shield our homes 

From burning rays of noonday sun. 

From far-off ocean's fertile fields 
They bring rich food for flowers ; 
For man and beast and bird a drink 
Of nectar, fit for heaven's king. 
They are the grandest things of earth. 
They are the work of God alone. 
All else is meant for man to mold. 
All else by man is beautified ; 

65 



These can not be! (But may be blurred 

In man's fierce battle for his bread.) 

The waste, when godlike men have wrought, 

Becomes a paradise again. 

But clouds! Man can not add their hue 

Nor shape. They need no change. They spring 

To form of majesty supreme 

In one brief breath of time ; and man 

Can only stand and gaze in awe, — 

What time their hills are crowned with gold. 



66 



Late in the Afternoon 

Can it be that the shadows fall to the East! 

That the hour 's far past the noon ! 
Is it true that the wild bird seeks its nest? 

That the sun will be setting soon? 

Ah, me ! "T was only awhile ago 

The day was at the dawn, 
And we were watching the jewels rare 

Which grew on the dewy lawn; 

And I was a rollicking, barefoot boy, 

With turned-up pantaloons. 
Seining the pool for pollywogs. 

And whistling merry tunes. 

A laddie who loitered the way to school. 

Envying even' bird 
And the lambs that skipped and played all day, 

With never a lesson to learn. 

And you were a lassie with hair in curls, 

And little, and — O, so afraid ! 
And dared not climb in the orchard tree, 

Where the robin's nest was made. 

It seems but a little while ago 

That we sat on father's knee 
And he rocked us to sleep, or told us tales 

Of when he was a lad at sea. 

69 



Your eyes but yesterday were bright, 

Your cheeks as rosy as dawn ; 
And when I h'fted you over the rough, 

You said, ''You are so strong." 

But I note that the light is fading now; 

And you hold the book away; 
And you walk so slow; and your voice is low — - 

You were blithe as a bird yesterday. 

And me? My hand will tremble now. 

And I can not lift the load. 
It must be true, that we're growing old! 

It 's the western slope of the road. 

I was looking again at the pictures, to-day. 
That we keep on the mantel shelf; 

The faces of boys and girls whom we loved 
In the days when they were our wealth. 

Our faces are growing wrinkled now, 

And theirs — are still so fair! 
And I wondered how it will be in the day 

When we meet again — up there. 

Have they always been children in God's dear home? 

We are told, "They never grow old." 
Will it be little hands we shall clasp again, 

In the city whose streets are of gold? 

Dear heart, I think that we soon shall know, 

For the hour is getting late ; 
And dimly I see in the evening dawn 

Some one by the open gate. 

70 




A Place of Peace 



Sunset 

A touch of gold on the Western world, 

In the East a fading light. 
And far on high, 
In the wondrous sky, 

The guardians of the night! 

The winds are fallen fast asleep; 

Their journey now is o'er ; 
They came from afar 
Where the sea nymphs are, 

O'er prairie and mountain and moor. 

The billowy fields of growing grain, 
That answered the wild winds call, 

Are hushed to rest 

On the prairie's breast 

By its cadence's rise and fall. 

The wood that was music all the day. 
And wondrous with light and shade, 

Is dark and still, 

Save the whip-poor-will 

That calls from the lonely glade. 

73 



Along the path in the old farm lane 

The cattle wind their way, 
And lazily drink 
At the river's brink, 

Ere they give for their pasture their pay. 

The hour of peace comes to all our world. 

That Sabbath of every day, 
Which bids toil cease 
And which gives release 

To the weary on life's way. 

And the day that is done with the setting sun, 

How hath this day been spent? 
As He would love 
Who dwells above 

And whose kindly aid was lent? 

Dear Savior, if one more day be ours, 

Teach us to better be. 
Our days are fewer ; 
Help us be truer 

To ourselves, to the right, and to Thee. 

And if to us the sun that is set 
Hath bidden its last "good-night," 

O, bear us away. 

We humbly pray, 

To the land where Thou art the Light. 

74 



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